Billie Eilish is a strange character in the music world. She’s a multi-Grammy award-winning artist who is clearly quite talented yet at the same time, seems to have manifested out of nowhere.
17-year old girls aren’t often all over the radio. They’re like, ya know, in high school or whatever.
Her age is a huge part of the Billie Eilish conversation as “Billie Eilish Age” is the first automatic fill when you search her name on Google. She purposely wears big baggie clothes to avoid the male gaze which is probably something a teenage girl shouldn’t need to concern herself with but here we are.
In a recent Vogue profile, William Eilish discussed the songwriting process and the idea of creating songs based on real life experience of crafting lies and stories.
Here’s what homegirl had to say about rap, for some reason:
There are tons of songs where people are just lying. There’s a lot of that in rap right now, from people that I know who rap. It’s like, ‘I got my AK-47, and I’m fuckin’ . . .’ and I’m like, what? You don’t have a gun. ‘And all my bitches. . . .’ I’m like, which bitches? That’s posturing, and that’s not what I’m doing.
There are two massive problems with these comments.
First, reducing rap music to ‘posturing’ is a total lack of understanding of the history of rap and the (black) people who create it. Whether you’re rapping about your guns, your hoes or how good you are at rapping—from day one it’s always been about being as pompous and braggadocious as possible.
KRS-One wasn’t out here rhyming about killing people and drowning in pussy but he constantly bragged about being the best MC, whether he was or not. “Honesty” or humility wasn’t the point.
Rap lyrics have always been inspiring to a community that has been quite literally stepped on.
So when rappers spit about ‘money, hoes and clothes’ it’s more of a verbal manifest of what these young black men have been deprived of their whole lives and finally, thanks to rap, have access to. In some rappers case, a surplus of such.
That is the kindest way anyone has ever defended misogyny and violence in rap.
The second massive problem with Will’s comments is the source of the comments.
Perhaps white teenage girls shouldn’t comment on a culture that they are actively receiving the benefits from. Whether it’s the sounds and drums of the songs she’s singing on or having a verse from Vince Staples on her previous album.
Maybe when rap music has given you the success that has provided you the opportunity to receive a Vogue profile shouldn’t be thrown under the bus because you don’t believe some of the bars you hear in certain songs that you are most certainly not the target demographic for.
Young Thug isn’t in the studio crafting tracks for 17-year old white girls. If he is, arrest him.
This isn’t cancellation of Bill Eilish. Post Malone shit on rap early in his career and he’s as successful as ever. But going forward, maybe let’s uh, stop asking pale people how they feel about hip-hop.
We don’t give a shit.